smashed avocado, sautéed spinach, scrambled eggs, mint pesto and red pepper flakes

Eggs are part of my breakfast routine most days of the week. They are a great source of protein (unless a vegan diet is a preference). Eggs are considered a “high biological value” protein source. This means it includes all of the essential amino acids our body needs and is easily absorbed into our body.

Eggs provide Vitamin A, Vitamin D, B Vitamins, Iron, Phosphorus and Selenium. There is a ton of nutrition packed into one tiny egg! The yolk specifically holds 40% of the protein, which is important for building muscle, immunity, and satiety.

We also now know how key fat is in our diet. Fat does not make you fat! Bless up. We are finding that refined and added sugar may be more of the culprit towards our obesity epidemic. Fat is not only essential to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins found in the egg, but it also cushions our organs, regulates our blood sugar, keeps our brain sharp, our skin clear, and protects our heart. Fat stays in our stomach much longer, which allows us to feel full for a longer time.

Many people are still concerned about eggs and the cholesterol found within the yolk. The Dietary Guidelines of America and the American Heart Association recommend seven whole eggs per week. It is suggested to keep your cholesterol intake to 300 mg per day or less. Note: one egg contains 185mg, which explains the recommendation of one egg per day. Please always consult your doctor to see if this is something you should be aware of.

With this, more research is coming out and telling us that dietary cholesterol has little effect on our blood cholesterol levels – specifically more studies that are focused on eggs and their effect, now not finding such a significant correlation. It’s also hard to compare a whole egg to bacon, both considered higher in cholesterol, but still have two different nutrient makeups. More specific studies like these are needed to adjust the current recommendations – so far so good though!

If your doctor does prescribe you a Low Cholesterol Diet, that usually equates to about three whole eggs per week. RD Tip: be mindful of your week – if you already had two whole eggs, but want eggs for breakfast another day, balance it with one whole egg and two egg whites. While we are seeing this new research come out, I do still believe every body is different – some may be more prone to elevated levels of blood cholesterol and do need to be careful. Find that balance in your own personal nutrition plan!

Now, let’s talk types…

Cage-Free : chickens are not confined to cages and may roam freely indoors, not necessarily outdoors.

Free-range/roaming : chickens are allowed to roam freely outdoors, but the amount of time varies and not necessarily given access to pasture.

Pasture-raised : chickens can roam outdoors in pasture setting and forage for food such as greens and insects – their more natural habitat.

Organic : per the USDA’s classification, meaning uncaged hens are allowed to free range and have access to outdoors. They are fed organic diet per standards.

The highest quality egg are pasture-raised with organic feed. They have a much higher nutritional content than the conventional product – Vitamin A, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and antioxidants are significantly higher. The cholesterol and saturated fat can even be lower because of their feed and lower stress levels being in their natural habitat. I liiiike it.

What is the best choice for you?

This depends on your accessibility and financial situation during this COVID-19 pandemic. This is not a time to be picky, so no need to stress in getting the best quality – eggs are loaded with nutrition, either way.

The possibilities are endless here… veggie egg muffins, frittatas, omelettes, shakshuka, breakfast quesadillas or keeping it simple with scrambled, poached or hard boiled eggs.

Personally, I can always be in the mood for a veggie egg scramble or omelette. I pair my eggs with a slice of my whole wheat toast (I love Dave’s Killer Bread thin-sliced) topped with Kite Hill almond cream cheese or avocado + Trader Joe’s everything seasoning. TJ’s sriracha is my go-to condiment.

Eggs are an easy breakfast meal to squeeze veggies in – I always encourage my clients to sauté in some spinach, onions, peppers, mushrooms, whatever your preference is to get in a serving of veggies and start your day off right with an even bigger punch of nutrition.

Leave a comment below with any questions! I’d love to hear from you.

Stay well. Xo

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